By Hedgebrook Staff

Questions for Our Spring Salon Teachers

For this week’s blog, we interviewed our Spring Salon teachers about writing, reading and why they are excited to teach on April 27.

 

Sue Ennis:

1) How did you come to hear about Hedgebrook?

I first read about Hedgebrook in the 90s and thought: this is a gift from the gods. Imagine acknowledging and honoring female writers! Thank you, thank you, Nancy Nordhoff! Then last year, my friend, screenwriter Heather Hughes, told me about her wonderful Hedgebrook experience in succulent detail. “My lunch was decorated in edible flowers.” Last October I became a Hedgebrookian for 3 days. I’m not sure I’ll ever recover from writing in peace, without an ear cocked to the world, and then there were those tasty flowers!   Read more

By Anne Liu Kellor

Growth, Stubbornness, and Working on a Memoir for (something like) Ten Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I feel ashamed when people ask if I’m still working on the same book. Yes, for almost a decade now I’ve been working on a memoir, SEARCHING FOR THE HEART RADICAL, with some periods away from it in between. Most of the chapters originated during my time in grad school from 2004-2006, although many of the seeds of those pieces had already been planted during the years I lived and wrote in China from 1999-2002. And in some respects, you might say I’ve been working on this book since the day I was born.

This book has taught me a ton—about the process of writing and about myself. I have grown so much as a writer over these years that I have felt compelled to go back and rewrite most of the pieces, again and again and again. And because it’s a book about discovering myself during my twenties—and I started writing it while still in my twenties—it’s also a book whose deeper meaning has been elusive and unfolding as I’ve grown as a person.   Read more

By Jackie Shannon Hollis

Writers as Witness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I write on Mondays and Tuesdays, and on Wednesday afternoons, I take those pages (five, ten, fifteen) to my critique group. Each of us in turn hand out copies of our work and read it out loud. What I can’t hear or see when I read to myself is revealed around the table, with these witnesses. Awkward bumps in language, over-reaching, missing details. We talk about the story, anything from where a sentence break or comma should be, to deleting or moving or reworking paragraphs. We write notes on the pages. Sometimes the notes applaud the grace of the words, the humor, the courage. A note that says, “Damn, this is so beautiful, I kind of hate you.” Or, “The dishes can wait, the email can wait. You’ve got work to do. Keep going.” I learn as much from listening to others’ work as I do from reading my own. I take my pages with those notes and go home. Alone to revise, and to write another section.   Read more

By Brooke Warner

What Women Writers Want—and How to Get It

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women who write tend to know they’re looking for something, but oftentimes they don’t know what. They understand that there’s a deeper and greater force than they can even begin to wrap their minds around that pushes them, drives them, and some of the time, yes, messes with their heads.

Last weekend I had the privilege to attend a Hedgebrook-sponsored event in San Francisco—a conversation between Dorothy Allison and Karen Joy Fowler. I spent much of the evening nodding my head along with the forty-plus other women (and two men!) in the crowd. The wisdom of these two long-time writers and teachers in the presence of so many students was palpable. During the Q&A, a question was posed: What do you want from writing?   Read more

By Ann Hedreen

Get Your Book in Bookstores: Publication Considerations, a Hedgebrook brown bag event that took place at Richard Hugo House on May 19, 2012

When the gift of a Hedgebrook residency changed my life in 2008, I had no idea that it was just the beginning of a long relationship. As Gloria Steinem put it so perfectly, Hedgebrook is indeed an advance, not a retreat. First, we move forward in our writing lives by spending a precious week or two or ten in a cottage, doing the work. But then, like a good mother, Hedgebrook keeps nudging us on.

Just when we’re gasping for a little encouragement, just when we’re tempted to retreat from our writing selves, a reading or a workshop or a brown-bag lunch comes along. For me, the much-needed nudge was “Get Your Book in Bookstores: Publication Considerations,” the May 19 seminar at Richard Hugo House, organized by the Hedgebrook Alumnae Leadership Council/Pacific Northwest and featuring publicity and marketing specialist Alice Acheson and alumna Nan Macy, former events coordinator at Bellingham’s Village Books.   Read more

By Nan Macy

Stepping Outside Your Genre

At Hedgebrook’s Writing Salon last Saturday, one woman who’s writing a book spoke up at lunch and said she’d been so focusing her attention and energy on tasks to complete her book that she’d sort of developed blinders (my phrase, not hers).  Her experience resonated for me as I’ve done the same in the last year.  She said that when asked in her morning workshop to do an exercise outside her genre/field/topic, she had this internal momentary response of “wait, I’m monogamous to my work.  I don’t date outside of it.”  Once she realized the limits of this closed creativity door, she could free herself to open it and walk through.   Read more

By Minal Hajratwala

Our own writing time-zones

My writer friend Mary Anne posted on her blog about waking up at 4am from bad dreams and then … writing!

I am inspired at how often she does this. She wakes up with way too little sleep — crying babies, nightmares, whatever. She stresses about it for maybe a paragraph. And then? She gets right to work.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Staff

Hedgebrook Downtown

By Nan Macy, Donna Miscolta, and Allison Green

On a recent rainy Saturday, eight Hedgebrook alumnae met around the farmhouse table and shared essays they were writing about visibility and invisibility, about motorcyles, about Louisa May Alcott, about rice. Actually, this farmhouse table was not on idyllic Whidbey Island, but in a conference room at Hedgebrook’s Pioneer Square office in Seattle.   Read more

1 3 4 5 6 7 9